Korean smart mobility firm KLIO Design participated in a mobility conference where innovative concepts were presented to increase smart mobility in South Korea. Smart mobility aims to reduce traffic jams, pollution, casualties and other negative aspects of mobility. KLIO 3D printed parts of their car to avoid the laborious step of mold creation and make it possible to customize the design. With Materialise software, they were able to design complex, organic lightweight structures and successfully 3D print them.
With KLIO’s mobility concept, the owner can combine different car body designs on a small standardized platform according to the number of passengers, the purpose of use and the environment. The car frame’s topology was optimized to reduce its weight. Then, the rough structures of the optimized model were smoothed out using Materialise 3-matic and the pillars were transformed into lattice structures.
“One of the strengths of Materialise software is the ability to realize complex, organic structures and patterns that are difficult or even impossible to create with existing manufacturing methods, as well as the ability to visualize and edit huge data,” explained Jeongche Yoon, Design Manager at KLIO Design.
The Open Structure Mobility Concept
KLIO Design’s Open Structure Mobility Concept allows the user to combine different car body designs on a small standardized platform according to the number of passengers, the purpose of use and the environment. This open concept encourages mutual developing cooperation, instead of supplier-oriented business.
The platform design is made up of optimized structures to reduce the weight of the car and at the same time ensure stability despite its small size. To avoid mold creation and allow for mass customization, the wheel cover, wheel guard, steering wheel and parts of the space frame were 3D printed.
Optimizing the Design of the Car Frame
After designing the car frame using NURBS surfaces, it was topologically optimized, taking material property into account. Since the topologically optimized design couldn’t be 3D printed right away, Materialise 3-matic software was used to smoothen and redesign it on an STL level, making it 3D printable and reinforcing the strength of the structure. KLIO Design also used Materialise 3-matic to apply lightweight structures in the pillars. Since the frame needed to be connected to an underbody, every time the mounting points of the underbody changed, the frame required editing.
Optimizing the Design of the Car Seat
Although the final shape of the car seat was more complicated than the one of car frame, the work process was rather simple. KLIO Design divided the car seat according to its cushioning areas. Assuming that it would be difficult to assemble the printed parts, they decided to not cut the cushioning areas, but print them in one part.
They imported the car seat, designed with NURBS surfaces, to Materialise 3-matic and applied lightweight structures. Then they scaled and readjusted the beam thickness.
“Materialise 3-matic is intuitive when applying lattices and simple to create data for 3D Printing. The best benefit for us is its format – you can work on your 3D data in a format lighter than STL when applying complex and complicated 3D lattices, which enabled us to work with a regular computer. This format didn’t require conversion to STL and the part could be printed directly on an EOS printer via the EOS Build Processor. Needless to say, we could convert to STL stably, which allowed us to work on the design conveniently.”